New Environmental Law passed by Parliament

EoF News / 09 September 2009

PEKANBARU (EoF News)—A new Law on Environment was passed by House of Representatives Tuesday (8/9/2009) which would provide more power to Environment Ministry or Agency to detain and prosecute perpetrators of  environmental crime.

House of Representatives (DPR) has approved bill of Law on Protection and Management of Environment (PPLH) as a new Law at a plenary session in Jakarta yesterday, Kompas daily reported today (9/9/2009).

The Law would substitute Environment Law number 23 year 1997 which apparently related to coordinative and policy matters, said Rachmat Witoelar, Minister of Environment.

“That Law [number 23 year 1997] has been functional to environmental management efforts in Indonesia, but the effectiveness of implementation has not achieved the expected goals due to substantial, structural as well as cultural problems,” said Rachmat as quoted by (8/9/2009) as saying.

Ten factions at the parliament approved the bill as they see that risks of ecological disaster escalate massively and repeat every year, hence a better protection and management of environment urgently needed, Kompas daily reported.

The minister said the new Law would enable civil servant investigators in upholding law enforcement by halting breaches in the field as well as nabbing and detaining the perpetrators in coordination with the police.

Both central and provincial governments have obligation to designate Strategic Environmental Study to ensure sustainable development implementation.

Official issuing environmental licenses could be brought to the court if he/she allegedly breaches the law. The operation of company can be annulled if its environmental license is revoked, the minister said.

Rachmat said the new Law has consequence in structural change. “It could lead this ministry as a department or establish a specific agency. It depends upon the President.”